CreativeMornings in Cleveland will be on Friday, June 19th this month 8:30-10 am on the topic of INSECURITY. More than usual I need your help, input from this core volunteer group, and friends to make some plans and decisions. There are a few very short survey links below for input, but you can also directly reply to this email… this is my personal address.
I didn’t expect I’d share this story with you today but I think it’s a helpful memory to recall from years back. I was in a small club, two thirds full of twenty and thirty-somethings, concert-goers, singing, shouting out the lyrics of ”Under The Sea” from Disney’s Little Mermaid while waiting in anticipation for the headline act to take the stage. This was an odd scene but it uniquely connected the audience at our core by recalling a ubiquitous joyful experience of our childhoods. In that room, for a moment we knew and felt how similar we all were.
Then the song cut, glow faded around the edges, the stage was set for some kind of magic.
The Dj stepped in the light, started the beat, and incited a series of orchestrated dances. Over a few bars at a time he built a trust and rapport to follow his instruction to move and yet left space for individual expression and happy little accidents. “You, in the middle, you’re the leader of the left, and you...” he pointed separately to two people near the center of the room “you are the leader on the right. Everybody give them a little space. What you’re going to do is dance. Whatever you want to do, your side of the room will follow along mimicking your moves. And the same thing goes for you and the other side, does everybody agree?” “YEAH!” an excited cheer overwhelmed the dance hall. “Alright great, ok but here’s the thing. Just like in real life, if you ever feel the person in charge isn’t doing a good enough job, or that you could do better… you need to step in and become the new leader.” INSECURE. I’m sorry to step out of the dance hall but this month's theme describes the world very well right now. We’re following frantic cycles of failing leaders who operate on impulse instead of virtue. We've collectively bullied ourselves into a powder keg. People choosing to be leaders are instructing each other with ultimatums on what we should and should not do, actively fueling painful chaos and division. There have literally been cement barriers outside my front door and helicopters flying overhead to quell violence from revolutionaries, while fear and danger of infectious disease continue to upend life as we know it. I’d like to offer some levity, but all I can do is think about how I see businesses and individuals alike, mimicking the moves others are making at breathtaking desperation, searching for some way we can do better. This summer, in addition to CreativeMornings talks I meant for Greyt Culture to roll out new programs, concerts, art openings, partnered events with organizations all over the city, joining a lot of threads throughout the creative community together to make some beautiful things for all of us to share. I thought in doing this I would help myself and other individuals in our community do our very best work. It seems foolish to consider art and recreation for the pure purpose of joy and unity in this moment, but I still think all of that is important, and if there’s a way, this is still how I would choose to spend time together. Damn it I’m sad. For all of the loss and violence and injustice. We need police, but police brutality in particular toward all people of color has to end. Maybe there's a glimmer that this current pain could be the start of a big change and a long-awaited new chapter… we can only hope. I’ll write up another note this month after some feedback from those here, as of right now there are no concrete plans for the 19th. I’d like to know if we held CreativeMornings in an outdoor space with no food, no beverage, no seating, bring your own blanket to sit on, keep distance and wear a mask… would you attend? Would you encourage others to attend? Please share your thoughts in this short response form: https://forms.gle/khqLTsT8fjEj8GoLA Your response is extremely important to me. I hope to get outside again soon, but unless there’s overwhelming support to do otherwise we’ll continue to hold virtual gatherings.. does everybody agree? I would also like to encourage more community pitches this month, I know you’re all working on a lot and there are in particular a great number of projects related to the current social justice movement I’d like for you to be able to share. Whether virtual or in person… if you know someone who should take a feature please drop it in this form: https://greytculture.typeform.com/to/HDxwum we’ll include as many as we can. Peace, T. Fox GREYT CULTURE [About the CreativeMornings / Greyt Culture Team Email. This monthly(ish) email goes to regular CM participants and partners, event-specific participants and partners, and others I would like to be aware of the contents of upcoming programs. The Team Email is for Planning Purposes Only and treated as confidential/non-promotional/not to be distributed. Event details listed here are subject to change based on input back from recipients. Confirmed event details will always be listed through CreativeMornings.com/cle - recipients are added and removed periodically at my discretion. If you would like to be a permanent recipient or removed from future Team emails, reply and I will comply with kindness. Thanks for reading.]